[time-nuts] Working with SMT parts.

Orin Eman orin.eman at gmail.com
Sat Aug 13 02:16:02 EDT 2016

On Fri, Aug 12, 2016 at 7:25 PM, Brooke Clarke <brooke at pacific.net> wrote:

> Hi Chris:
> ExpressPCB has very easy to use free software for schematic capture (later
> used to check the board wiring) and software for board layout including
> making custom components if their library of stock components does not have
> what you need.  The output file format is proprietary, which makes it
> interesting that Far Circuits can read it.
> I just have not wanted to go through learning curve for Gerber files and
> all the associated stuff (maybe drilling, silk screen, solder mask) which
> is very easy to do with ExpressPCB.

I did my first 'CAD' PCB with EasyTrax... a DOS program.  Must have been
about 1998 as that's the copyright date I put on the board.

Believe me, getting any of the current programs to produce gerber files is
trivial compared to using EasyTrax and making it produce gerber files.  In
fact, I usually us itead.cc for small boards and they provide the script to
produce gerber files from Eagle, which is what I currently use.  I've also
used OSH Park and you can simply send an Eagle board file to them; just as
easy as using ExpressPCB without the expensive tie-in.

I must admit ExpressPCB leaves me with a sour taste - many published
projects seem to use them as  I suppose the author liked the free
software.  But then everyone that uses the ExpressPCB files that the author
supplies pays the ExpressPCB premium.  $300 in one case and the boards
weren't even flat!


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